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The damn flu shot and other required immunizations

Posted

Hospitals that I’ve traveled to over the last few years started mandating the flu shot instead of allowing the nurse to opt-out and wear a mask. I’m OK with it, even though its taking away my rights.  But now it seems to be trendy to tell the nurse when she needs to have the flu shot. I turned down a contract at the end of August because the hospital wanted to to get a flu shot that week, and they wanted a new TB skin test despite having it done 4 months ago. And now it’s happening again with this assignment, right at the last minute, “Raindrop needs a flu shot and TB  before she can start.”  And then I remind my company that I willl get the FS, but not until mid November. And NO to the TB until May 2021. And now they are scrambling because I’m sticking to it. And the hospital will not accept a QuantiFERON. This  field is for the birds, and I’m glad that I will be graduating with a degree that is not related to nursing in a year from now. 

I predict the COVID and flu vaccine are going to be mandated next year. How will you respond to this mandate? And how about if they tell you when you need it done...E.g., in September? 

My body, my right? Or no? 

 

If you want to work in healthcare, you do it to help and protect patients. If you want to be a solo ditch digger, then immunizations are not critical to your job. Definitely your choice and your rights and I support your decision.

Swellz

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience.

I once flew from FL to PA and back in a day to get fingerprinted in-state because that is what a health system required. I've had to get two PPD's in quick succession and gotten flu shots earlier than I thought was reasonable. I didn't understand the logic behind these things, but I wanted those contracts. If there is a hard line on a requirement, they know they can get someone who will meet it. If that's the case, it's up to you to play by their rules or be open to other opportunities. Of course it's your right to do what you feel is best for yourself, but nobody is required to give you a job.

Gary Mendoza

Specializes in Emergency Department.

I don't take the flu shot and I have never been mandated to take it, I always just sign a declination and wear a mask, never had a problem. I completely disagree with Ned in that if you want to work in healthcare you do it to help protect your patients. Does taking the flu vaccine make you a non-carrier? Nope, so that argument isn't valid in my opinion. Also, patients have the choice to make their own healthcare decisions, why do healthcare professionals lose that right to choose? My body , my choice; and if one day it comes down to me having to make that decision I'm not sure what I'll do, hopefully I'll be in a position at that time where I will not have to worry about it.

Let's be clear though, I'm not anti-vaccine. I just don't believe in taking vaccines unnecessarily , that I don't need. I've been an ER nurse for over a decade, been around thousands of flu patients (without a mask) and I have never caught the flu, so I don't feel I need it. Would taking the flu vaccine stop me from spreading flu virii? Nope, as a matter of fact there are some studies that show vaccinated people shed more flu virii than non-vaccinated.

In regards to the covid vaccine, I'm not going to take an experimental vaccine that was fast-tracked and has no safety history to back it up. If it had a long safety history and / or it would somehow stop me from being a carrier, I'd consider it.

Of course, all these things are subject to change, but this is how I feel at this time.

Ultimately, you have to make the best choice for you and yours. I'm not one who's going to judge you for it. I strongly believe in an individuals right to choose, freedom of choice.

Edited by Gary Mendoza

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

You have the right to say "no". HR has the right to fill the position with someone else. As long as you make an informed decision and understand the consequences of that decision you have the right do what you feel is "right"

2 hours ago, Gary Mendoza said:

I completely disagree with Ned in that if you want to work in healthcare you do it to help protect your patients.

What? What else is there, just money?

41 minutes ago, sleepwalker said:

As long as you make an informed decision and understand the consequences of that decision you have the right do what you feel is "right"

Really? So you will overrule experts based on what you feel? Nice way to run a health system. And a country for that matter. Personal rights rule over the health of others. Anarchy and gut feel over science.

As stated in my post, I was planning on getting the flu shot in November. But telling me I need it NOW is baloney. 

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

I want my vaccine NOW! I'm a home-bound client and am trying to arrange for my home-visiting nurse to bring me my vax.

I'd have been happy for my vax in Sept if I could have had it provided.

OP - seriously, it's only a month! They're just making you angry with their rule.  And they can make the rules, just because THEY CAN!

Gary Mendoza

Specializes in Emergency Department.

7 hours ago, NedRN said:

What? What else is there, just money?

Way to cherry pick a quote, if you had actually read my entire post you would have your answer, not going to repeat it.

14 hours ago, Gary Mendoza said:

I strongly believe in an individuals right to choose, freedom of choice.

I read your post twice before my reply. It is quite clear you favor individual choice over science. Not exactly friendly to sane public health choices. Call it cherry picking if you want -  I'll quote your entire post if you deem it necessary.  Have you not accepted outcomes decision making in healthcare?